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Charges follow fatal truck accident at toll booth near Easton

With such massive payloads traveling at such high rates of speed, it only makes sense that drivers of large commercial vehicles are held to a high standard of safety on our nation's interstates and highways. Federal regulations require that truck drivers take breaks and avoid fatigue while operating their vehicles, lest truck driver negligence lead to a crash like the one that occurred on Jan. 13 near Easton, Pennsylvania.

Police say that an Allentown man fell asleep while driving a tractor-trailer that was reportedly knocked airborne after hitting an impact-absorbent wall. The rig then landed on top of a car that was parked at a toll bridge, and the 65-year-old driver of the car died after the vehicles caught fire.

It was discovered that the 55-year-old truck driver has an extensive criminal history, including a sexual assault charge to which he pleaded no contest in 2002. Now, according to authorities, the truck driver is facing a homicide by vehicle charge after admitting that he nodded off just before the fatal accident on Interstate 78.

According to police, a 29-year-old toll booth worker narrowly escaped injury in the crash, and the truck driver is facing a charge of reckless endangerment, along with charges of reckless driving and involuntary manslaughter.

Authorities said the investigation of the crash would include analysis of the truck driver's log and possible video of the collision.

Such evidence would also be useful in any wrongful death claim brought against the truck driver or his employer. Family members of deceased truck accident victims have the right to file such a claim after the death of a loved one.

Source: The Morning Call, "Police charge Allentown truck driver in fatal I-78 toll booth crash," Pamela Lehman, Jan. 23, 2014

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Gregory R. Gifford
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